DOMINICAN STUDIES ASSOCIATION & HOSTOS COMMUNITY COLLEGE, CUNY ASOCIACIÓN DE ESTUDIOS DOMINICANOS / Dedicated to Pedro Mir

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1 ASOCIACIÓN DE ESTUDIOS DOMINICANOS / DOMINICAN STUDIES ASSOCIATION & HOSTOS COMMUNITY COLLEGE, CUNY DOMINICAN First STUDIES: Interdisciplinary CHARTING THE COURSE Conference on the Future of Dominican Studies: Charting the Course Dónde estamos y adónde vamos? In Memoriam of Pedro Mir Poet Laureate of the Dominican Republic May 12 & 13, 2006 Pedro Mir Artwork by Pedro Gastón Eugenio María de Hostos Community College 500 Grand Concourse Bronx, NY 10451

2 This conference is spearheaded by the Asociación de Estudios Dominicanos and Division of Academic Affairs at Eugenio María de Hostos Community College. ADDITIONAL SPONSORS: Office of the President, Eugenio María de Hostos Community College, CUNY, Banco Popular Dominicano, Comisionado de Cultura Dominicana en los Estados Unidos, Dominican American National Roundtable, Harvard University s David Rockefeller Center for Latino Studies, Hostos Center for Arts and Culture, Latino Hispanic Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University, Modern Languages at Hostos, Serrano Scholars Program, Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program at Hostos, Latino/Latin American Studies Program at Syracuse University, The New York Council for the Humanities, Sociology Department at Smith College, Student Government Association at Hostos, The CUNY Dominican Studies Institute at The City College, The Hostos Dominican Republic Study Abroad Program.

3 EUGENIO MARÍA DE HOSTOS COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK 500 GRAND CONCOURSE, ROOM B-447 BRONX, NEW YORK TELEPHONE (718) FAX (718) Greetings from the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs May 8, 2006 Dear Colleagues, Students and Friends: Welcome to Eugenio María de Hostos Community College of The City University of New York for the First International and Interdisciplinary Conference on the Future of Dominican Studies: Charting the Course. Dónde estamos y adónde vamos? In Memoriam of Pedro Mir. The Division of Academic Affairs at Hostos is honored to partner with the Dominican Studies Association/Asociación de Estudios Dominicanos in this significant and important activity. This is the first in what is hoped to become a biannual partnership. The Dominican Studies Association/Asociación de Estudios Domincanos is a not-for-profit organization, created by a group of Dominican-American academics in the late nineties, to promote and disseminate the study of the contribution made to humanity by Dominicans in all parts of the globe and of all times, and to provide a mechanism for networking and supporting emerging scholars in the field of Dominican Studies. Given the large number of students of Dominican descent who attend Hostos Community College, it is our privilege to bring such a rich opportunity and experience to the campus. Let this be one more opportunity for Hostos, a prominent center for the dissemination of Latino culture in New York City, to engage in an on-going conversation on the present state of Dominican Studies. We have before us the promise of two very exciting days. On behalf of the Division of Academic Affairs at Hostos Community College, please accept my warmest welcome and best wishes for a successful experience. Sincerely, Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs 3

4 SCHEDULE AT A GLANCE 7pm 10pm THURSDAY, MAY 11, 2006 OFF-CAMPUS, RANCHO JUBILEE RESTAURANT Pre-conference dinner, pre-registration and admission fee required. FRIDAY, MAY 12, 2006 SATURDAY, MAY 13, 2006 All sessions in 450 Grand Concourse, 3rd floor All sessions in 450 Grand Concourse, 3rd floor 9:00am-9:45am Registration 9:00am-9:45am Registration 10:00am-10:45am C390 Opening Ceremony 10:00am-10:45am Keynote Address C390 Language, Memory and Identity 11:00am-12:15pm Keynote Address C390 The Bilingual Sublime 12:30pm-2:00pm Lunch Break 2:00pm-3:15pm Session 1 - Concurrent Sessions C Diaspora Studies: An Overview C Engendering Dominican Studies C Filming Room Open 3:30pm-4:45pm Session 2 - Concurrent Sessions C The Fatherland/La Madre Patria Abroad: Figuration of Belonging in Dominican Discourse FDR 5. Pioneering Dominican Studies in the US C The Dominican Republic and the Americas C Filming Room Open 5:00pm-6:00pm Featured Artist/Photographer C Lobby Consuelo Gotay and Eduardo Hoepelman 6:15pm-7:30pm Session 3 - Concurrent Sessions C Emerging Voices in Dominican Studies FDR 9. Escritoras Dominicanas: Tertulia de Escritoras Dominicanas en los Estados Unidos y las amigas C Considering Dominican Literature: Dentro y Fuera 11:00am-12:15pm Session 4 - Concurrent Sessions C The State of Dominican Studies: Language, Literature, Cultural Studies and Social Sciences C Challenging Sexual Norms: Diverse Sexualities and Dominican Studies FDR 13. Dominican Republic Study Abroad Programs: A Status Report C Filming Room Open 12:30pm-2:00pm Lunch Break 2:00pm-3:15pm Session 5 - Concurrent Sessions C Race in the Dominican Republic: Identidad y Prejuicio FDR 16. Status of Dominican Studies in Public Schools - Panel A C Politics and Immigration C Filming Room Open 3:30pm-4:45pm Session 6 - Concurrent Sessions C Legislation Impacting the Dominican Community C Status of Dominican Studies in Public Schools - Panel B FDR 21. Dominican Republic and Haiti: One Island, Two Nations C Filming Room Open 7:30pm Reception Art Gallery Open Mic Readings, Pedro Mir 11am-5pm C362 Saturday, Film Festival Dominican Films 7:30pm Main Theater Admission Fee 4 Performance Victor Victor and His Band Center for Arts and Culture Hostos Box Office

5 HONORED GUESTS Dedicated to Pedro Mir RHINA ESPAILLAT (FEATURED POET AND SPEAKER) Rhina P. Espaillat was born in the Dominican Republic in 1932, and has lived in the United States since She taught high school English in New York City for several years, and writes poetry and prose both in English and in her native Spanish. Her work has appeared on many internet sites and in numerous magazines, including "The Lyric," "Poetry," "Sparrow," "Orbis," "The Formalist" and "The American Scholar" as well as some three dozen anthologies, among them Contemporary American Poetry (Pearson Longman, 2005); 100 Great Poets of the English Language (Pearson Longman, 2005); A Formal Feeling Comes (Story Line Press, 1994); In Other Words: Literature by Latinas of the United States (Arte Publico Press, 1994); and Twentieth Century American Poetry (McGraw-Hill, 2004). She is a frequent reader and speaker in the Boston area, and conducts workshops at colleges and universities out of state as well. She was one of eighty writers invited to participate in the National Book Festival sponsored jointly by the Library of Congress and the First Lady, and held in Washington, DC, on October 4, Espaillat has eight poetry collections in print: Lapsing to Grace (Bennett & Kitchel, 1992); Where Horizons Go (Truman State University Press, 1998), which won the 1998 T. S. Eliot Prize; Rehearsing Absence (University of Evansville Press), which won the 2001 Richard Wilbur Award; "Mundo y Palabra/The World and the Word" (Oyster River Press), a bilingual chapbook that is part of a series titled Walking to Windward: 21 New England Poets; a chapbook in the Pudding House invitational series, titled "Rhina P. Espaillat: Greatest Hits, "; The Shadow I Dress In (David Robert Books, 2004), winner of the 2003 Stanzas Prize; a chapbook titled "The Story-teller's Hour" (Scienter Press, 2004); and Playing at Stillness (Truman State University Press, 2005). Her ninth - a bilingual collection of poems and essays titled Agua de dos rios (Water from Two Rivers) - is scheduled for publication in the Dominican Republic, under the auspices of the Dominican National Library. She has won various other awards, including the "Sparrow" Sonnet Prize, three yearly prizes from the Poetry Society of America, the Der-Hovanessian Translation Prize, the Barbara Bradley Award from the New England Poetry Club, the "Oberon" Prize, and the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award sponsored by "The Formalist." In 2004, she became the first winner of the Tree at My Window Award from the Robert Frost Foundation, specifically for her Spanish translations of Robert Frost and her English translations of Saint John of the Cross and the Dominican poet Cesar Sanchez Beras. In October of 2004, she received (in absentia) the Dominican Republic's Salome Ureña de Henríquez Award for service to Dominican culture and education. Espaillat lives in Newburyport, MA, with her husband Alfred Moskowitz, a sculptor. They have three sons and three grandchildren, and are active in many aspects of the life of the community. Espaillat coordinates the Newburyport Art Association's Annual Poetry Contest, directs the Powow River Poets, which she co-founded, and organizes that group's monthly reading series. She has also been instrumental in bringing about bilingual poetry readings in the North of Boston area, and bilingual activities shared by the high school students of Lawrence and Newburyport. DORIS SOMMER (FEATURED SPEAKER) Doris Sommer is Ira and Jewell Williams Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University, where she also directs the Cultural Agents Initiative [culturalagents.org]. Among her books are One Master for Another: Populism as Patriarchal Rhetoric in Dominican Novels (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1984); Cultural Agency in the Americas, (Durham, Duke University Press, 2006); Bilingual Aesthetics: A New Sentimental Education, (Durham, Duke UP, 2004), Proceed with Caution, when engaged by minority writing in the Americas (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999); in Spanish: Abrazos y rechazos: Cómo leer en clave menor (Bogotá: FCE, 2006) and Foundational Fictions: The National Romances of Latin America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991); in Spanish Ficciones fundacionales: La novela nacional en América Latina (Bogotá: FCE, 2005). 5

6 Honored Guests Dedicated to Pedro Mir CONSUELO GOTAY (FEATURED ARTIST) Consuelo Gotay was born in Bayamón, Puerto Rico She pursued a B.A. from the University of Puerto Rico and finished an M.A. at Teachers College, Columbia University She studied printmaking with José Antonio Torres Martinó and with Lorenzo Homar in While developing her artists books she received formal training in book binding and printing at the Bernardino Cordero Bernart School in Ponce, Puerto Rico, and the Center for Book Arts in New York in She has been a professor of printmaking and book arts since She worked at the Printmaking Workshop, School of Architecture, University of Puerto Rico, Universidad APEC, Santo Domingo, República Dominicana At present she is Associate Professor of Printmaking on a sabbatical leave at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas Puerto Rico where she chaired the Printmaking Department At this institution she helped develop a non-toxic Printmaking Department and Book Arts Studies. Consuelo has been a printmaker, book artist and graphic designer. She has exhibited her work individually in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the United States. She has participated in collective exhibits in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia, Bulgaria, and the United States. Her work is kept in several collections in the United States and Puerto Rico: New York Public Library, Princeton University Graphic Arts Collection, Museo de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, La Casa del Libro, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Museo de Arte de Ponce, The City University of New York, and Dominican Studies. In recent years she has developed a series of artist s books on Caribbean poets. At present she is working on a new collaborative project with poet Lourdes Vázquez. EDUARDO HOEPELMAN (FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER) Eduardo E. Hoepelman was born in villa Consuelo, Dominican Republic, where at the age of 15 he took a political activist roll. In 1967, he immigrated to the United States. His history is the history of any working class immigrant coming to our nation. On his first day in New York, he had to work to support his family in the Dominican Republic. He worked to bring them to the United States, too. In the 1960s and 1970s he worked in factories, restaurants, gas stations, constructing sites and gipsy cabs. But Eduardo was always interested in taking pictures. In 1977, he got his first important assignment as a photographer in La Noticia, a Dominican Newspaper where he covered numerous assignments that included Major League Hispanic baseball players at both Shea and Yankee stadiums. In the 1980 s and 1990 s Hoepelman worked for different newspapers and magazines where he covered events related to art, sports, politics, and education. Eduardo E. Hoepelman was the official photographer of Hostos Community College, CUNY for many years starting in He was responsible for taking photographs of all official events happening on campus. Eduardo also did the progress pictures of the Morgan Stanley Children s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian. But, the most important thing about Eduardo is that he always cares about his/our community. 6

7 Distinguished Guests HIS EXCELLENCY DR. FLAVIO DARIO ESPINAL (AMBASSADOR OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC TO THE UNITED STATES) His Excellency Flavio Dario Espinal obtained his Law degree (Summa Cum Laude) in the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM). He also holds a Master s] degree in Political Sciences from the University of Essex, England, and a Ph.D. in Government from the University of Virginia, United States. During his studies he received several scholarships from programs and institutions of international prestige, such as the Fulbright program, the Bradley Foundation, the Dupont Foundation and the Institute of World Politics. During the period , he was Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to the Organization of the American States (O.A.S.), in which he held the positions of Chair of the Permanent Council, Chair of the Committee on Legal and Political Issues and Chair of the Committee on Hemispheric Security. He was also co-coordinator of the Civil Society Agenda in the process of the Summits of the Américas. Ambassador Flavio Dario Espinal is the former Dean of the Law School at the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM), Recinto Santo Tomás de Aquino, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where he was also professor of Constitutional Law, Public International Law and General Principles of Law. HONORABLE DR. HUGO MORALES, CUNY TRUSTEE HUGO M. MORALES, was appointed by Governor George Pataki in June 2002 as a member of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York. He was the Medical Director of the Bronx Mental Health Center, which he established and organized in 1965 in order to provide comprehensive ambulatory mental health care services to lowincome minority patients of the Bronx and other boroughs from 1965 to Previously, Dr. Morales was Junior Psychiatrist at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens ( ), Senior Psychiatrist at Manhattan State Hospital in Wards Island ( ), and Director of the Department of Psychiatry at St. Francis Hospital in the Bronx (1966). Dr. Morales is a Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians, as well as the American College of Forensic Examiners. Dr. Morales received his Medical Degree from the University of Santo Domingo. Dr. Morales was Chairman of the Dominican Board of the Governor's Office for Hispanic Affairs, from 1984 to 1992, and serves as member on the Hispanic Federation Committee, the New York State Department of Health Medical Advisory Committee, the Governor's Task Force on Rape and Sexual Assault, and the Hostos Community College Advisory Board. HONORABLE CARLOS SIERRA, CUNY TRUSTEE CARLOS SIERRA, is an ex-officio voting member of the Board of Trustees and Chairperson of the session of the University Student Senate (USS). As Chair of USS, Mr. Sierra is at the helm of the student organization of the leading and largest public urban university in the nation. A double major in Photography and Political Science at Lehman College, Carlos came to the U.S. at age 13. Forced by economic circumstances to leave school at age 17, he entered a Kansas Job Corps Center, where he earned his GED and learned the trade of cement mason. Carlos was elected Vice President of the Center s Student Government and also received the Center s highest award for achievement. He worked as a cement mason and moved to New York City, where he enrolled at Bronx Community College. He became President of the Photography Club, and was elected President of BCC's Student Government, and also served as editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, The Communicator, as well as the yearbook, Pegasus. After earning his Associate's Degree, Carlos enrolled in Lehman College where once again he joined in Student Government and was elected Student Senator and Community Activity Programmer. Carlos took part in the CUNY Model New York State Senate Session project in 2003 and

8 ABOUT THE PANELS, FRIDAY, MAY 12, 2006 Opening Ceremony, 10:00am-10:45am Moderator Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Hostos Community College Greetings Dolores M. Fernández, Hostos Community College Excellency Flavio Darío Espinal, Dominican Republic Ambassador Honorable Hugo Morales, CUNY Trustee Honorable Carlos Sierra, CUNY Trustee Ramona Hernández, The City College, CUNY Silvio Torres-Saillant, Syracuse University/Harvard University Luis Canela, Banco Popular Dominicano Wally Edgecombe, Hostos Community College Idelsa Mendez, Hostos Community College José García, Hostos Community College Charlene Ramirez, Hostos Community College *And distinguished guests Musical Interlude, 10:45am-11:00am Thelma Ithier-Sterling, Vocalist, Hostos Community College Raymond Torres, Pianist, Hostos Community College C390 C390 Selection of Dominican songs. Keynote Address, 11:00am - 12:15pm The Bilingual Sublime Introduction Silvio Torres-Saillant, Syracuse University/Harvard University Presenter Doris Sommer, Harvard University C390 The bilingual sublime, a deeply human condition that Hispaniola knows very well: modernity is a project of cultural streamlining, imagining that one country is identified by one language. On an island in which two languages interfere with one another, the "barbarous" elements are frightening, but also thrilling. They remind speakers on both sides that language is a construct; that it is porous. Some will defend "purity" with patriotic zeal; others will learn irony and creative convivencia. Session 1, 2:00pm-3:15pm 1. Diaspora Studies: An Overview C390 Moderator Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Hostos Community College Panelists Danilo Figueredo, Bloomfield College Marianela Medrano, Author Freddy Rodríguez, Artist Carlos Sanabria, Hostos Community College This panel will take a multidisciplinary approach, integrating academics and practitioners, to explore and provoke dialogue around a number of issues, including but not limited to: status of migration studies; gender, literature, community, and the woman writer; themes in Dominican American literature in the context of Caribbean studies; art and the artist in the diaspora. 8

9 PANELS, FRIDAY, MAY 12, 2006 Session 1, 2:00pm-3:15pm 2. Engendering Dominican Studies C391 Moderator Ginetta Candelarío, Smith College Panelists Hector Cordero-Guzman, Baruch College Melissa Madera, SUNY Binghamton Elizabeth Manly, Tulane University Milagros Ricourt, Lehman College This panel features pioneering work on the history of Dominican women's political participation ranging from feminist activisms during the Trujillato and Balaguer's twelve years to immigrant women's organizing efforts in New York City. Session 2, 3:30pm-4:45pm 4. The Fatherland/La Madre Patria Abroad / C390 Figuration of Belonging in Dominican Discourse Moderator Panelists Silvio Torres-Saillant, Syracuse University/Harvard University Rita De Maeseneer, Antwerp University Dennis J. Hidalgo, Adelphi University Ramonita Marcano, Academician Ramon Victoriano-Martinez, University of Toronto This panel brings together the scholarship of literary critics and historians working on literary and historical representations of the Dominican experience to examine the ways in which the look from abroad and how the diasporic perspective challenges traditional narratives of belonging in Dominican discourse. 5. Pioneering Dominican Studies in the U.S. FDR Moderator Ramona Hernández, The City College Panelists Héctor Cordero-Guzmán, Baruch College Sherri Grasmuck, Temple University Franklin Gutierrez, York College Compared to other areas of ethnic studies, Dominican Studies is a relatively young field of scholarship in American academia. Around three decades ago, some scholars began to make the Dominican experience in the U.S. the object of their academic work, becoming in the process pioneers of an area of study that would become fundamental for the understanding of the fastest growing Latino ethnic group in the Northeastern United States as we speak. This panel features some pioneering scholars who have made contributions to the field from the angles of literature, sociology, and quantitative analysis of public education. 6. Dominican Republic and the Americas C391 Moderator Anthony Stevens-Acevedo, The City College Panelists James De Filippis, Baruch College Victor Figueroa, Wayne State University Angel Villarini, Catedrático Universidad de Puerto Rico Pedro Morillo, Hostos Community College 9

10 PANELS, MAY 12, 2006 Session 2, 3:30pm-4:45pm 6. Dominican Republic and the Americas, continued C391 The Dominican Republic has the longest tradition of relations with the rest of the Americas of any of the contemporary nations of the continent as we know them today. Its territory, unified initially with that of the current Republic of Haiti under Spanish rule as the senior colony of La Española, was the launching board from which the Europeans first embarked in the colonization of South, Central, and North America. That interaction has continued to our day, and through tourism, migrations, and commerce, it has actually intensified during the last three decades, intertwining intimately with the overall process of globalization. This panel features four specialists who will comment on different angles of this rich and complex process. Session 3, 6:15pm-7:30pm 8. Emerging Voices in Dominican Studies C390 Moderator Anthony Stevens-Acevedo, The City College Panelists Ginetta Candelarío, Smith College Belkis Necos, The City College Maritza Straughn-Williams, Colby College Every day new scholars join the field of Dominican Studies. This panel showcases four of these emerging voices, all of them currently working in research about different aspects of Dominicans as a people. The panelists will share part of their research on Dominican racial perceptions in life-narratives, changing gender behaviors in relation to sexuality and sexual health, and early colonial slavery in Dominican history. Though apparently apart from each other in time and matter, the four papers actually share underlying connections that take place inside Dominican culture across time. 9. Escritoras Dominicanas: Tertulia de Escritoras Dominicanas en los Estados Unidos FDR Moderator Sonia Rivera-Valdés, York College Authors Annecy Báez Dinorah Coronado Margarita Drago Carolina González Jacqueline Herranz-Brooks Juleyka Lantigua Marianela Medrano Yrene Santos Paquita Suarez-Coalla Bilingual readings of poetry and prose of published works and works in progress by members of Tertulia de Escritoras Dominicanas en los Estados Unidos y las amigas. 10. Considering Dominican Literature: Dentro y Fuera C391 Moderador Franklin Gutierrez, York College Panelists Miguel Aníbal Perdomo, Academician León Félix Batista, University of Massachussets Chiqui Vicioso, Author Dominican authors reflect on issues related to Dominican literature and the craft of writing. 10

11 PANELS, MAY 12 & 13, 2006 Reception, 7:30pm - 9:00pm, Open Mic Readings of Pedro Mir s Poetry Moderator Chiqui Vicioso, Author Art Gallery This reception is open to all conference participants, guests and friends. The microphone is open to any who would like to read from written works of Pedro Mir. About the Panels, Saturday, May 13, 2006 Keynote Address, 10:00am - 10:45am Language, Memory, and Identity Introduction: Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Hostos Community College Presenter: Rhina Espaillat, Poet and Author C390 Language, Memory and Identity is a brief talk on the way the sense of self of the deracinated person is shaped by bilinguality, and altered by the acquisition of "adopted" memories. Remarks will be followed and illustrated by the reading of several poems and an autobiographical essay that touches upon the immigrant experience and its emotional impact. Musical Interlude, 10:45am-11:00am Thelma Ithier-Sterling, Vocalist, Hostos Community College Raymond Torres, Pianist, Hostos Community College C390 Session 4, 11:00am-12:15pm 11. The State of Dominican Studies: C390 Language, Literature, Cultural Studies and Social Sciences Moderator Panelists Luis Alvarez-López, John Jay College Francisco Chapman-Veloz, John Jay College Edgardo Díaz-Díaz, John Jay College Anabel González, John Jay College Raymond Torres, Hostos Community College This session is a roundtable on popular culture, music and Dominican identity: Merengue y Bachata. (Reformulando la identidad Dominicana a través de la Música Popular Dominicana: Merengue y Bachata). 12. Challenging Sexual Norms: Diverse Sexualities and Dominican Studies C390 Moderator Carlos Decena, Rutgers University Panelists Yoseli Castillo, Academician Maja Horn, FLACSO The presenters and discussant on this panel have been working to give voice to the concerns, experiences, and politics of people whose sexual and gender practices, identities, and lives do not conform to traditional expectations of what Dominican men and women are or should be. Combining the perspectives of scholars, activists, and artists, this panel intends to foreground not only the presence of sexual diversity of Dominicans in the Dominican Republic and in the diaspora, but to challenge all students of the lives and realities of Dominican communities to become more cognizant of the ways in which gender and sexual norms shape these lives and realities. In this way, the participants on this panel hope to begin a conversation with scholars and members of the Dominican community to further the project of making our society and communities more tolerant of the many manifestations of gender and sexual diversity. 11

12 PANELS, MAY 13, 2006 Session 4, 11:00am-12:15pm 13. Dominican Republic Study Abroad Programs: A Status Report C391 Moderators Ana I. García Reyes, Hostos Community College Néstor Montilla, Hostos Community College Greetings Hon. Carlos Sierra, CUNY Trustee Hon. Luiz Diaz, NYS Assemblyman Panelists Lynne Guitar, Universidad Madre y Maestra Irma Nicasio, Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo Odalís Pérez, Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo This panel will focus on study abroad programs and their role as catalysts to foster research. There will also be a special Hostos Community College study abroad video presentation. Session 5, 2:00pm-3:15pm 15. Race in the Dominican Republic: Identidad y Prejuicio C390 Moderator Carlos Sanabria, Hostos Community College Panelists Kenny García, University of Michigan, Dearborn Irma Nicasio, Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo Odalis Perez, Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo Luis Vargas, Hostos Community College This panel will focus on issues relating to identity and racism in the Dominican Republic. In his presentation, Kenny Garcia will examine the Arab and Asian presence in the country and Dominican identity. Luis Vargas, in turn, will discuss the problems of racism and anti-haitian sentiment in the Dominican Republic. 16. Status of Dominican Studies in Public Schools (Panel A) FDR Moderator Robert Mercedes, NYC Department of Education / ADASA Panelists Francesca Peña, NYC Department of Education Martha Madera, NYC Department of Education Jocelyn Santana, NYC Department of Education Angelica Infante, NYC Department of Education This panel will focus on the status of New York City public schools from an administrative perspective. 17. Politics and Immigration C391 Moderator Ginetta Candelarío, Smith College Panelist s Milagros Batista, Alianza Dominicana Charles Robert Venator Santiago, Ithaca College Aldrin Bonilla, Hostos Community College This panel presents researchers and activists working with community responses to immigration issues, and deportation laws and policies targeting Dominicans in the United States and Haitians in the Dominican Republic. 12

13 PANELS, MAY 13, 2006 Session 6, 3:30pm-4:45pm 19. Legislation Impacting the Dominican Community C390 Moderators Ana I. García Reyes, Hostos Community College Néstor Montilla, Hostos Community College Presenters Ms. Lilliam Perez, District Office Director for NYS Assemblyman Eric Schneiderman Ms. Alejandra Castillo, White House Intern Respondents Hon. Grace Diaz, Rhode Island State Representative Hon. Luis Diaz, NYS Assemblyman Hon. Adriano Espaillat, NYS Assemblyman Hon. Carlos Gonzalez, New Hampshire State Representative Hon. Miguel Martinez, NYC Assemblyman Hon. José Peralta, NYS Assemblyman Hon. Juan Pichardo, Rhode Island State Senator Cid Wilson, Dominican American National Roundtable This panel will focus on legislation impacting the Dominican community. 20. Status of Dominican Studies in the Public Schools (Panel B) C391 Moderator Daniel Abreu, Gregorio Luperón High School Panelists Indira Acevedo, HS student, NYC Public School System Mariely Gonzalez, HS student, NYC Public School System Nancy Diaz, NYC Public School System Nelida Polanco, NYC Public School System This panel will focus on the status of New York City public schools from the perspectives of teachers, students and parents. 21. Dominican Republic and Haiti: One Island, Two Nations FDR Moderator Luis Alvarez-López, John Jay College Panelists José Bello, Banco Popular Dominicano Edgardo Díaz-Díaz, John Jay College Christina Jones, Howard University Anthony Stevens-Acevedo, The City College From colonies to nations: inter-island migrations, human rights violations and the Dominican diaspora perspectives about the Haitians and the Dominican-Haitians in the Dominican Republic. 13

14 NOTES 14

15 ABOUT THE FILMING ROOM: TELLING YOUR STORY The filming room, Telling Your Story, is located in 450 Grand Concourse, room 361. This room was designed by the conference planning committee to be the vehicle through which conference participants can share reactions to the conference sessions and presentations or elaborate about personal experiences by narrating stories about growing up Dominican or Dominican American. The Telling Your Story room will be staffed by Hostos faculty volunteers ready to assist you with all the technical details. Each video participant must sign a waiver, which will be provided. The room will be open during the following times. Friday, May 12 Saturday, May 13 2:00pm - 3:15pm 3:30pm - 4:45pm 11:00am - 12:15pm 2:00pm - 3:15pm 3:30pm - 4:45pm Share accomplishments you have attained or struggles you have overcome, viewpoints that you hold or beliefs that you follow. This room was designed by the planning committee for you to personalize your contribution to this landmark conference on the Future of Dominican Studies. RECORDING POLICY All material presented during this conference are the property of the individual presenting. All recordings of this conference are the property of the Asociación de Estudios Dominicanos. Recording, videotaping or otherwise copying the proceedings of this conference is not permitted without express consent of the presenters and Asociación de Estudios Dominicanos. The proceedings will be videotaped by the Asociación de Estudios Dominicanos and may be viewed by individuals wishing to do so by submitting a written request. For more information, please contact Asociación de Estudios Dominicanos. 15

16 ABOUT PEDRO MIR A Poet of His People, A Poet of the World By: Silvio Torres-Saillant True literary artists bear witness to the challenge of the human condition as it is lived in their particular time and place within the confines of discrete circumstances. The clearer their success in capturing the drama of existence and communicating it to their home public with conviction, the greater their chance of producing texts that speak persuasively to people elsewhere. In the Dominican Republic no one lays a more legitimate claim to intimacy with the yearnings of the Dominican people as well as with the texture of their collective voice than Pedro Mir. No author writing in the country enjoys more popularity and reverence than he among both literary and non-literary readers in virtually all sectors of society. The agreement by the full multi-partisan legislature of the Dominican Congress in 1982 to confer upon Mir the title of National Poet suggests the high regard in which his native audience holds him. In New York, the home of many Dominicans, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Hunter College in June of 1991 and eight months later he became the subject of major conference at Hostos Community College. In January 1993 Mir received the National Prize for Literature, the highest honor a literary artist can aspire to in the Dominican Republic. The multitude of voices that celebrated the prize include spokespersons as distinguished as poet and playwright Manuel Rueda, who dedicated a whole issue of his weekly Isla Abierta to Mir. The sentiment of the general public was perhaps best captured by the daily El Siglo, whose editorial for the occasion described Mir s best known poem as the common property of all Dominicans. Born on June 3, 1913, in the southerly city of San Pedro de Macorís, of a Puerto Rican mother and a Cuban Father, Mir published his first poems in 1937 through the agency of Juan Bosch, who had already achieved notoriety in Dominican letters. Mir soon attained recognition not only among young intellectuals, who hailed him as a social poet but also among the cultural commissars of the Trujillo dictatorship, who viewed him with suspicion. By 1947 it had become clear that he should leave the country. Once he did, the scribes of the regime undertook to suppress his name, as is evident in a Dominican poetry anthology whose first edition in 1943 had prominently displayed his poems but omitted him completely in the second edition of Treading the path of exile came without glamour for Mir. Abroad, he did not enjoy the visibility of prestigious political expatriates such as Bosch, who befriended Pedro Henríquez Ureña, Nicolás Guillén, Romulo Gallegos, and Miguel Otero Silva, among other major literary figures of Latin America. Mir did not form part of famous intellectual circles. Rather, he quietly earned a humble living, doing menial jobs, as he continued to write. While in Cuba, in 1949 he published Hay un país en el mundo and in 1952 committed to print his Contracanto a Whitman during a brief sojourn in Guatemala, where his small collection Seis momentos de esperanza also appeared the following year. These publications elicited no fanfare, but they laid the groundwork for the poetics that would thenceforward characterize Mir s oeuvre. The epic breadth of his song, the historical incisiveness of his themes, the upliftment of hope as an inexorable dogma, and the lyrical fabric of his verse, all emerge palpably in the thin volumes. Mir may be said to have consistently worshipped the muse of history, and in that faith he shows a striking kinship with typical Caribbean poets of the stature of Aimé Césaire, Nicolás Guillén, and Kamau Brathwaite. In characteristics Antillean fashion, he has also gone outside the realm of verse production to explore historical processes of his country and the larger Caribbean region. His essay Tres leyendas de colores, which he completed in 1949 and did not publish until 20 years later, traces the origins of the modern Caribbean to the first three revolutions of the Americas, which took place on the island of Hispaniola. Subsequently, El gran incendio (1969), Las raíces dominicanas de la doctrina de Monroe (1974), the three- 16

17 PEDRO MIR CONTINUED volume text La noción de período en la historia dominicana ( ), and Historia del hambre (1987) each combine the prose style of a mature literary craftsman with the rigor of a professional historian to achieve penetrating insights into the most crucial junctures that have shaped the Dominican Republic, its place in world affairs, and the intransigent endurance of its people. His prose fiction further illustrates Mir s dedication to the historical imagination in the scrutiny of the Caribbean experience. La gran hazaña de Límber y después otoño (1977), a collection of three animal fables linked by a cornice, Cuando amaban las tierras comuneras (1978), a novel set chronologically between the 1916 and the 1965 military occupations of the Dominican Republic by the United States, and Buen viaje, Pancho Valentín! (1981), the fictional memoirs of a man returning to the native land after a long absence, derive most of their dramatic tension from the historical imperatives that frame the characters and the dilemmas they encounter. Mir has produced considerable work in the fields of history, fiction, and even art criticism and theory, in which he has written Apertura a la estética (1974), Fundamentos de teoría y crítica de arte (1979), and La estética del soldadito (1991). His achievements in other literary genres and areas of intellectual endeavor notwithstanding, his verse remains the best known facet of his writings. Probably to Mir s own chagrin, with him the poet has greatly overshadowed the essayist, the fiction writer, and the thinker. But that has to do with the fact that when he came back from his long exile in 1962, following the death of Trujillo, it was as a poet that he first won the hearts of his native audience. His poetry recitals in the 1960s and 1970s attracted large and enthusiastic crowds of workers, students, and cultural activists in Santo Domingo and cities of the interior. The popularity of Hay un país en el mundo, which became the common property of all Dominicans as soon as the poet regained his homeland, has continued unabated. Not only has the poem gone through innumerable reprintings and frequent staged choral readings, but it has inspired several renditions by artists working in other forms, such as painting, etching, music, and photography. For many years following his return, Mir s reputation rested largely on the published poems he brought from exile. However, he subsequently produced major poetic texts that supplement and deepen the known elements of his verse. Moved by the deaths of the Mirabal sisters, whose brutal murder by the agents of the tyrant on November 25, 1960, had shaken all layers of Dominican society, Mir produced Amén de mariposas (1969), a poem in which he successfully retakes the epic mode to explore the historical roots of the horror. In Poemas de buen amor y a veces de fantasía (1969), a sequence of sonnets and other lyric poems, he aims to historicize the realm of Eros by delving into the pleasures of the human body and placing love and sex within materialistically explainable parameters. The next volume of verse by Mir, entitled Viaje a la muchedumbre (1971), consists of thirteen poems, the majority of which are linked thematically by the search for a principle of coherence to harmonize the individual and the collective and to cancel out the presumed dichotomy between self and community. The following year a short selection of his poems published by Siglo XXI Editores in Mexico, under the editorship of Jaime Labastida, borrowed the title Viaje a la muchedumbre (1972). Oddly enough, the Siglo XXI anthology neglected to mention that the title had come from an existing volume, nor did it include the sonnet Viaje a la muchedumbre, the text that gave the original collection its name. As with any selection, the Mexican anthology gives a partial picture of the scope and amplitude of Mir s poetry. But despite its shortcomings, it has played a decisive role in enhancing the international visibility of the poet. Though most readers outside the Dominican shores who have read him have done so through Labastida s selection, there is much more to Mir. Suffice it to mention El huracán Neruda (1975), a major epic poem which remains his last known work in verse. Hinging thematically on two onerous Chilean deaths, that of President Salvador Allende and that of the immense Pablo Neruda, which occurred both in September

18 PEDRO MIR CONTINUED within twelve days of each other, the poem convincingly moves from threnody to exultation. The dark shadows cast upon the peoples of the Americas by the demise of two bright beacons of hope are refashioned into a source of light. The poem illustrates a dynamic whereby the sense of history gets placed on the rails toward a vision of utopia. In that sense, the text furthers the hopeful worldview that prevails in all of Mir s works throughout his five decades of rich literary production. Like few other poets of his or any other generation whether at home or abroad, Mir has forged a diction that has placed him incontestably as the foremost epic singer of his people s experience. In that respect, his achievement parallels the glorious feat he himself attributes to Whitman as the supreme interpreter of the American collective at one given point in history. In Contracanto a Walt Whitman, a text in which the great poet of Manhattan the son serves as vehicle for an epopeia of the relationship between the United States and the rest of the Americas, the speaker rhetorically asks: For what has a great undeniable poet been but a crystal-clear pool where a people discover their perfect likeness?... And what but the chord of a boundless guitar where the fingers of the people play their simple, their own, their strong and true innumerable song? {Tr. Cohen} Dominicans have undoubtedly spotted their perfect likeness in the verse of Mir. Whenever people of other nationalities have come upon his poetry, they too have seen themselves in it. The high esteem his work has received from readers in other parts of Latin America and the Caribbean is greater than one could reasonably expect given its limited international diffusion. Were he from a country with official institutions devoted to supporting, preserving, and exporting the nation s most valuable cultural products, his world-wide reputation would equal that of the best known authors today. Even so, his work has traveled. Partial translations of his poems exist at least in Russian, Armenian, French, and English. The present bilingual edition, the amplest collection of his poetry to appear in any language thus far, will give both Spanish-and-English-speaking readers in the United States the opportunity to recognize themselves in the poetic visage of one of the most authentic literary artists to have come from the Caribbean. Readers will find here a voice that speaks to the world as urgently as it does to the Dominican people. Dr. Silvio Torres-Saillant is the Director of the Latino/Latin American Studies Program and Associate Professor in the English Department at Syracuse University. He is the founding Director of the CUNY-Dominican Studies Institute. Reprinted with permission from the author. Source: Countersong to Walt Whitman & Other Poems. Translated by Jonathan Cohen & Donald D. Walsh. 18

19 NOTES 19

20 ABOUT THE CONFERENCE CONCEPT The Asociación de Estudios Dominicanos / Dominican Studies Association in collaboration with: Banco Popular Dominicano, Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program at Hostos, Comisionado de Cultura Dominicana en los Estados Unidos, Harvard University s David Rockefeller Center for Latino Studies, Hostos Center for Arts and Culture, Latino Hispanic Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University, Modern Languages at Hostos, Serrano Scholars Program, Latino/Latin American Studies Program at Syracuse University, The New York Council for the Humanities, Sociology Department at Smith College, Student Government Association at Hostos, The CUNY Dominican Studies Institute at The City College, the Dominican American National Round Table, the Hostos Dominican Republic Study Abroad Program. presents its first major interdisciplinary conference on Dominican Studies, hosted at Eugenio María de Hostos Community College on May 12-13, Rationale To bring together Dominicanists of every generation to continue the conversation on the status of Dominican Studies. To contribute to the professional development of young scholars in the field. To contribute to the recovery and integration of the Dominican experience to studies on the Latino experience in the United States. To discuss and investigate the important role that the Dominican contribution has played in Latin America and the Caribbean. To celebrate and disseminate Dominican history and culture throughout the continental United States, the Caribbean, Latin America and elsewhere throughout the world. To strengthen Hostos and The City University of New York s commitment to education and their link to the public school system in the Bronx and throughout New York City. To provide opportunities for cultural enrichment and intellectual growth for faculty and students throughout the city. Overview Dedicated to Don Pedro Mir, the late poet laureate of the Dominican Republic, the conference aims to foster conversations among speakers located in various disciplines, interdisciplinary areas, scholarly generations, and conceptual paradigms. It will bring together Dominican and non-dominican academics who have produced or promoted bodies of knowledge pertinent to the Dominican experience in diverse sites the United States, the Dominican Republic and elsewhere to take stock of what has been achieved in Dominican Studies as an emerging field of inquiry over the last thirty years and to assess the discernible aspirations of the stock-holders with an eye on charting a course for the future. Presentation topics will include: the purviews of languages, literatures and linguistics; social sciences and cultural studies; education and the public schools; political leadership and community empowerment; gender and sexual orientation; race, ethnicity, and the challenge of diversity; the place of Dominicans in Caribbean Studies; and the rapport of the diaspora with the ancestral homeland in imagining the Dominican community globally. Additionally, the event will feature an exhibit of visual arts inspired by the immigrant experience of Dominicans; a display of the collected works published by Dominican authors and Dominicanists over the last quarter century; and a tribute to the legacy of Don Pedro Mir. Asociación de Estudios Dominicanos, President Asociación de Estudios Dominicanos, Vice President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D. Ramona Hernández, Ph.D. 20

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